PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers are looking for an upgrade at quarterback this offseason and they could be in the market to make a major splash on the trade market with one target in mind.
According to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is a “big fan” of current Bears starter Justin Fields and could include him among the list of candidates to come in and compete with Kenny Pickett for a starting job.
“We know that Pittsburgh is going to go out and get some type of quarterback,” Schefter said. “Whether that’s Ryan Tannehill, whether that’s Russell Wilson, whether that’s Justin Fields. Mike Tomlin is a big fan of Justin Fields. Keep that in mind during the offseason and the coming weeks…they’re not just going to leave it as Kenny Pickett as his starting job. Mike Tomlin made that very clear. Now, it’s which of these quarterbacks do they make a move for?"
The Steelers did their research on Fields when he was coming out of Ohio State in 2021. Mike Tomlin attended his progay workout but the team wasn't in a position to draft Fields when the time came. Chicago owns the No. 1 pick in this year's draft and could choose to select USC's Caleb Williams, so trading Fields could be a worthwhile move in that situation.
Fields has one year left on his rookie contract and would make for a cheaper short-term solution than someone like Wilson, or Rudolph and provides a higher upside than Tannehill.
Fields played one of the best seasons of his young career in 2023 despite a midseason injury. He set a career-high in completions (227), completion percentage (61.4%) and passing yards (2,562) while also throwing for a career-low in interceptions (9) or 16 touchdowns in 13 games. He rushed for 657 yards and four scores last season. The year before, he led the league in yards per rush (7.1) and accounted for 1,143 yards and eight scores on the ground.
The Steelers will bring 2022 first-round pick Kenny Pickett back as their top quarterback entering the 2024 season but hope to retain Mason Rudolph, who led the team to three straight wins and a surprise playoff berth. If they can't retain Rudolph, making a splash trade for Fields could be on the table.
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